The Telangana government showcased its ambitious Fiber Grid (T-Fiber) program at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2018, in Hyderabad on Monday.
T-Fiber is the government’s initiative to establish the infrastructure to provide affordable, high-speed broadband connectivity and digital services. The areas covered will be 10 zones (31 districts), 584 Mandals, 8,778 Gram Panchayats, 10,128 villages, 83.58 lakh households, and will benefit approximately 3.5 crore people. The State will be infusing a mammoth Rs 5000 crores into the project.
According to KT Rama Rao, Minister of IT for Telangana, T-Fiber will consist of dense and fast broadband networks, to achieve 100% penetration. The goal is to provide every household of Telangana with optical fibre cable connectivity, as well as effective government-to-citizen and government-to-government services, through state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Coincidentally, the Optic Fiber for the initiative is being laid alongside the drinking water pipeline— which is a project of the State Government called Mission Bhagiratha. In fact, by placing separate ducts alongside the water pipelines, the authorities are saving money.
Anand Kasula, T-Fiber’s project head, says that the optic fibre highway will enable all gram panchayats to have high-speed connectivity. All government services will be connected and delivered through the network. Connecting households will also help them make online payments and use online services. A set-top box will be provided to give them access to live Government TV channels.
T-Fiber’s pilot project is being tested in 4 villages of Telengana, namely Maheshwaram, Thummuluru, Masanpally, and Sirigiripuram, and will be extended to all 8,778 gram panchayats by December 2018.
The Rs 13 crore pilot project, has provided Maheshwaram and Masanpally with a Public Health Centre, in which the Government is piloting telemedicine. The Public Health Centre works with Apollo Hospital’s super speciality doctors through video conferencing. If a case requires further probing, patient data shared with the Apollo doctors aid patient diagnosis and treatment.
Thummuluru has also begun to receive e-learning services. Students in schools can be taught and trained by qualified teachers, via video conferencing. A Sterlite Tech kiosk helps village residents with al computing needs. Video calls, training sessions with Virtual Reality, street light control, and information like soil moisture, temperature, humidity and other factors, are the facilities provided.
Via the kiosk, villagers can send emails using text technology which allows them to speak in Telugu. The kiosk prints land records, receipts, and aids interaction with the Aadhar system.
A slew of other services like e-agriculture, banking, Mee Seva, security surveillance and panchayat services, as well as monetisation services like telephone connections, broadband internet, cable TV, cellular operators and IPTV services, are being provided,
Companies that have partnered with the venture include HP enterprise, Cisco, Corpus, Celkon, D-Link, Micromax and Nokia.
The ambitious project is based on a simple idea—build on the digital India mission, and connect all villages and gram panchayats of the state using optic fibre and provide them with a high-speed broadband network.